Human Ignorance Uncivilized Behavior Due Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

As a housewife confined mostly at home, the woman yearned to develop herself, to function as an able individual not just in her home but in her society as well. Thus, work became a symbolic manifestation of the woman's yearning for freedom: freedom from the oppressive label of being a housewife, and freedom from being limited and dictated what she needs to do and not do.

Human ignorance is highlighted in the story when, as the woman succumbed to the fixating task of "analyzing" and following the patterns of the yellow wallpaper, her husband thought her nervous breakdown has finally escalated into insanity. As the woman begins to consider the pattern a reflection of her own life, her family, particularly her husband John, began considering her condition as one of insanity: "At night...and worst of all by moonlight, it becomes bars!...I didn't realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman."

In these unfortunate events in the woman's life, because her struggle to assert herself was misconstrued as a simple nervous breakdown and her eventual "empowerment" as a woman (i.e., recognition of her oppression and development of her self-worth) was interpreted as her fall towards insanity, the woman still remained a victim of her society's rigid norms and customs. The men in her life meanwhile, remained ignorant on the fact that his wife fought, internally, for self-definition and freedom, and uncivilly subjected his wife by "imprisoning" her, both psychologically (through drugs and endless bed rests) and physically (confining her in her room most of the day).

The second short story illustrates the same level of human ignorance personified by Gilman's protagonist's husband. However, in "Very Old Man," Marquez centers on the issue of not recognizing simple miracles and fortunate events in one's life, since human society sought for a more sensational and explicit forms of miracle and fortune. As a result of their ignorance to these simple miracles and fortunes in life, they failed to regard with respect, or even consider, the old man-angel as, indeed, an angel who fell on earth during a great storm.

One of the simple miracles that occurred in Elisenda and Pelayo's life is the eventual improvement of their baby's condition. As their neighbor identified the old man-angel, she guessed that "[h]e must have been coming for the child, but the poor fellow is so old the rain knocked him down." Because they had been very preoccupied in determining whether the old man is an authentic angel or not, the couple forgot to consider what happened to their child: that, because of the old man-angel's demise, their child eventually improved and escaped the impending death that haunted the child during the storm. Despite this fact, the community remained skeptical, and tried to provoke the old man-angel to commit any sensational form of action, just to prove that he is indeed an angel. Unfortunately, the old man-angel's unremarkable, even unpleasant, appearance and continued silence led people to disregard him as no different from circus freaks, leaving him along just as soon as the woman spider came into their community to gladly and voluntarily "entertain" them with the unfortunate and sensational story of her life.

Works Cited

Gilman, C.P. (1899). E-text of "The Yellow Wallpaper." Available at http://www.storybites.com/gilmanwallpaper.htm.

Marquez, G.G.E-text of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Available at http://www.salvoblue.homestead.com/wings.html.

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Gilman, C.P. (1899). E-text of "The Yellow Wallpaper." Available at http://www.storybites.com/gilmanwallpaper.htm.

Marquez, G.G.E-text of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Available at http://www.salvoblue.homestead.com/wings.html.

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